We are Sophia and Madeleine, and we are riding our bikes across the USA to raise money for STOKED, a non-profit organization which works with underserved youth in NYC and LA to help them become college and career ready. I, Sophia, worked there for over 3 years and directed all programming, but recently left to go spread my wings a bit. STOKED provides afterschool and weekend mentoring programs throughout all four years of high school, and before leaving I came up with the idea to expand one last program for after these kids graduate high school called the Live A Big Life Scholarship.
Our bike ride is called the Live A Big Life Ride because living big means to go after what you want, to take risks, to make the most of your opportunities and live to your fullest potential. The opportunity to find adventure, seek challenges and travel away from everything you know is not had by everyone, including many of the youth that STOKED works with. Biking cross country is our bucket list item, our opportunity, and we want to enable the same opportunity for others.
STOKED will graduate its first four-year class in 2015, and through this ride we aim to raise $50,000 to get the Live A Big Life Scholarship off the ground. Starting in the summer of 2015, STOKED high school graduates will be able to apply for a Scholarship of $500 that will allow them to go on a Big Life adventure following graduation. We do not know what each Scholarship recipient will do, they have to find their dream to follow, but through a variety of Big Life partnerships we will help these deserving youth live the biggest life they can. What we do know is that when you leave your neighborhood and your city, go outside your comfort zone, see and meet new people, places and things, you grow. You stretch and develop in fundamental ways, and your dreams grow along with you. You learn to reach higher than you used to because your perspective has broadened. That’s what we’re doing with our bike ride, and that’s the opportunity we will create for the youth of STOKED.
This idea of living a big life in inspired by Cameron Howe and the Howe family. Click here to learn more.